Stick: We won't play BaaBaas rugby

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 08:29
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Don't expect the Springboks to light up Wembley with an expansive game when they face the Barbarians next weekend.

That was the message from Springbok backline coach Mzwandile Stick when he addressed reporters before the team's departure to the UK for their end-of-year tour.

South Africa are under pressure after a dismal season so far, which includes a record 15-57 defeat to the All Blacks in Durban earlier this month and a first-ever home loss to Ireland in Cape Town in June.

Allister Coetzee's team finished this year's Rugby Championship in third place, registering just two wins from their six games.

The game against the Barbarians has become even more important now for the Boks as they will be looking for much-needed confidence before they face Eddie Jones' England side followed by matches against Italy and Wales. 

"I think the main thing for us when it comes to the next game, is we need to get better...trying to fix the things that we did wrong [in the loss against New Zealand], where it didn’t go well," said Stick.

"The key thing for us is not about playing Barbarians rugby. For us we going to treat this game more as a Test match and we going to try and focus on what we want to do well and it will be good to make sure that we come out of the game on a positive note, because going to England at Twickenham is going to be a tough one, 

"They [England] are a very good side at the moment with a great coaching staff, so it’s going to be a tough challenge for the youngsters. But once again, the Barbarians game for us is all about turning things around and making sure that we play the right game for our country."

The Boks suffered a big setback with the loss Jaco Kriel (knee injury) ahead of their tour. However, Stick feels that they have enough cover in the squad to fill that openside flank role.

"I think as a coaching staff we always have plans; we always have backups and we had a good plan actually. 

"Looking at our squad and looking at the players that we’ve got in the Barbarians side, I think it was an easy call for us to make because you’ve got someone like openside flank [Roelof Smit] and then also having Nizaam Carr as a backup.

"He [Carr] has played there before [openside flank] for the Springboks, so it was an easy call for us to make knowing that Roelof is part of the squad going into the Test matches 

"I think it was an easy call for the coach [Allister Coetzee] to make because he [Carr] is here in our squad, a player that has been there before. Also, Nizaam is one of the guys that we are looking forward to working with," Stick added.